Monday, September 23, 2013

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales - Seizoen Bretta Review

Brewery: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (OR)
Style: Farmhouse Ale / Saison
ABV: 8%
Grade: A-

I have drank a lot of saisons in my life, but few beers have ever blown me out of my comfort zone like the unpredictable, untamed Fantome saison — one of my top choices for the weirdest, yet cohesive and complex beers in the world. Ever since discovering Dany Prignon's line of mad scientist concoctions, I've been hoping to stumble across something equally weird and wonderful. When I read this description of Seizoen Bretta, out of Hood River, Oregon, I knew it was something I would have to try: "Special Brettanomyces yeast provides added dryness and crisp complexity to the Seizoen Bretta. Bottle conditioned with pear juice for a natural carbonation."

Clocking in at the very same ABV, too, Seizoen Bretta sure sounds a lot like Fantome, doesn't it? But as with any wild ale, the ultimate character of the beer isn't going to be defined by the description or the process so much as the bugs you use, or really, the bugs you let find you — microbial terroir. Seizoen Bretta is a very good beer, an excellent saison, but it's not quite as weird and wild as Fantome. (Probably more consistent, though).

Seizoen Bretta was a gusher, as I suspected it would be. I wish brewers could figure out how to do their Brett saisons without them gushing (it's a mater of time, and time is a matter of money), but until then, you just gotta be prepared or it. The aroma is full of hay, herbs, orange zest, mild peppery phenolics, and a bit of barnyard. There's not nearly the Brett funk I was expecting, and the saison yeast still dominates, bursting with that zesty, overripe French saison character. 

High carbonation makes Seizoen Bretta a drinkable, effervescent refresher, as it should be. There's less funk in the flavor than in the aroma, with a focus more on crisp, tart fruitiness. While I can't say that I would have guessed without reading it in the description, I think I can pick out the pear juice that was used to bottle condition. The tartness and fruit subtleties from the yeast evoke green apple and even a splash of dry white grape juice. Orange zest blends into spicy fruity hoppiness, with lingering herbal notes from the hops, and the overall effect is super tangy and spritzy. Seizoen Bretta has a slick, almost creamy body, despite how dry it finishes, and there's just a touch of bitterness to cap it off. With everything going on, it may not be the wildest beer I've ever experienced, but it pulls all those flavors together with impressive balance.

Overall, a picture perfect saison — as idyllic as the painting on its label.

Availability: Year round. 750 ml.

1 comment:

  1. I just got a bottle of this from Lewybrewing, looking forward to trying it out.


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